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Abstract #2983

Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Neurotransmitter GABA in-Vivo

1CMROI, Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States; 2Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, United States; 3Department of Neurology, and Center for Functional Neuroimaging, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, United States

Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter of the brain and plays a critical role in multiple central nervous system diseases. The objective of this study was to characterize the chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) effect of the -NH2 protons of GABA and to demonstrate GABA imaging in the human brain at 7T. The Z-spectrum of GABA showed a pH sensitive asymmetry around ~2.75 ppm downfield to the water resonance. CEST imaging of healthy human volunteers clearly showed the distribution of GABA CEST contrast in different regions of the brain with negligible contrast from cerebrospinal fluid